Nine of Pentacles: Dreams Come True

The Nine of Pentacles has been showing up a lot in my own personal readings, so I think it best if I write about her (she has a very feminine energy to me, which I will explain).  I also think she’s a suitable card for around St. Patrick’s day, because it is a wish card, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Numerology assigns the qualities of altruism, compassion, and mastery to the Number 9. It is the number that signals a completion, the home stretch.  The Nine of Pentacles usually foretells wealth, luxury, and security. I also like to think of it as a karma card–you’ve laid down the foundation for your wish, and it is coming true.

 

Barbara G. Walker’s Nine of Pentacles shows a pregnant woman in a garden rich with blooms. The keyword for the card is “Accomplishment”–but she hasn’t given birth yet.  There is still some eager anticipation to go.  The work is mostly done, however, and she can sit back and watch as creation hits its own momentum.  This pregnancy does not have to be a literal, physical one that ends in the birth of a child. It could be a business, a degree, a novel, an invention…the list goes on.  A wish has come true, and a reward is due.

The white elephant in the garden is no accident. He is a representative of Ganesha, the Hindu remover of obstacles, the god of luck.  On his back is an offering in a golden bowl.  The woman has made her sacrifices, and Ganesha has noticed.  The Nine of Pentacles, like all Pentacle cards, is concerned with practicality, and hard work.  A stroke of luck that seems unconnected to any actual work on the questioner’s part is probably an unexpected gift for sacrifices the questioner made, or good deeds done, that he or she may not even remember, or thought was too tiny to make any big difference.  But small causes may lead to large effects, and nobody knows this better than Ganesha. He rode on the back of a mouse, after all.

 

Kris Waldherr’s Goddess deck shows Lakshmi, our lady of the Pentacles, in a garden, greeting a dove, the messenger of peace and good tidings. This card is analogous to the dove. It tells you that you are entering, or are already in, an idyllic period in your life. The card is rich in the colors of gold (color of wealth and nobility) and the pinks and purples of the large gerbera daisies around the border. The blessings of the questioner are as plentiful as the daisies’ petals.  The color pink is the color of joy.

Robin Wood’s Nine of Pentacles is rich with color and life. The vines are rife with an abundance of nourishing, delicious, sweet grapes (packed with antioxidants!) and deep red roses.  The woman in her garden is provided for, not only with food, but with beauty and sensual delights.  Her red sleeves indicate her energy and love of life, and her purple skirt is symbolic of royalty, along with her gold embellishments. Roses, of course, have thorns, which, to me, symbolizes that the reader has paid his dues to get to this place of joy and prosperity.

Her hawk is her messenger, the bird that connects the earth to the heavens and the gods to the mortals. But this is where the imagery gets tricky–the hawk is tamed. It’s hooded and its talons are bound by leather strips.  This could symbolize the questioner’s self control and focus. This is a good thing–it means the questioner showed up for her own life.  It means she buckled down. The golden fence can show that the questioner will (or has) achieved harmony and security in his life. However, the appearance of the hawk, combined with the elaborately designed golden fence, may indicate a self-imposed imprisonment.  The Nine of Pentacles may be warning to not value security so much that you stop taking risks (Wood 113).  It all depends on your intuition.

 

The illustration Mary Guinan drew for Julian DeBurgh’s Celtic Deck is the only one (of my current decks, anyway) that breaks away from the woman in the garden theme.  The sea has just enough of a wave to bring the warriors smoothly home. The man in the bow stands tall and strong.  The sky is soft behind them.  Their mission was a success. Their leader’s sword and shield are of gold, and their boat is in beautiful condition. Depending on your own intuition as a reader, or the other cards surrounding the Nine of Pentacles, you may determine that the fulfilled wishes portended by the Nine of Pentacles will either come as a result of back-breaking work, or a walk in the park.

Yet, even when I look at this card, I refer to it as a “she.” Perhaps because of the association with the nurturing, traditionally feminine Earth, and also the fact that there are nine months to a pregnancy.

 

Reversed: Reversed, the Nine of Pentacles means that either your dream will be disappointed, or postponed. Perhaps there are more steps that must be taken before it reaches the promise of the card. Or, there should be a change in the way you’re going about achieving the dream in this late stage of the game. It could also mean that you have lost enthusiasm for the dream, and need to do some soul-searching to figure out what it is you really want.

 

Archetypes: Pregnant women

People getting closer and closer to their goal

Business start-ups

a romantic partnership or friendship that can bring security and creative fertility to both parties

An artist or writer nearing the end of their projects, OR someone who is now courageous enough to sit down and take the steps necessary for the project to gain momentum.

 

Source:

Wood, Robin. The Robin Wood Tarot: The Book. Livingtree: 2009.

This book is chockfull of information about the symbolism of Robin Wood’s art, card by card, by Robin Wood herself.  If you are a student of symbolism, this is for you.

Energy and the Elements, Part I: Fire and Earth

I have noticed, writing this blog, that the energy of each element has the potential to be creative.  However, they are creative in different ways. I’ve been wanting to post about how each element manifests the creative force, and when to focus on a specific elemental energy. Also, I wanted to write about how to neutralize out of control elements.  Part 1 will discuss Fire and Earth.

Fire

Fire is masculine and rules EXTERNAL action. It can be driving and burning. You want fire energy to help you take that first step to making your dream real. It is also indispensable when courage is needed. In love, fire is the element that brings passion–this applies not just to romantic love, but to any pursuit that gives you intense feeling.

The elemental for Fire is the salamander, a dragon-like creature which is sometimes depicted as being aflame, but unharmed. More recently, salamanders have been depicted as being made out of flames. The salamander can be large, or very tiny.  An interesting origin story for the legend of salamanders is that real salamanders like to live inside logs.  When the logs are tossed on the fire, the salamanders, naturally, run out of the flames. (source)  Salamanders symbolize grace under fire (literally, in the salamander’s case) and faith that cannot be extinguished (source).  You might like to visualize a salamander as a companion during your meditations.

 

Of course, the phoenix (one of my personal spirit animals) is also aligned with fire.  It represents the necessary burning away to make room to rise stronger, better, and more beautiful than before.  This concept is also seen in the fact that there are some tree seeds that only sprout if they have been exposed to forest fires.

Fire is also cleansing. It can burn away sickness and negative energy.

To bring this courage, passion, and driving force to your endeavors, sit or lie down, and focus on your breath.  Just relax and notice it.

Imagine a small fire kindling inside you. This fire starts right in the middle of the area where you sit (your root chakra) and flames through your lower spine (the sacral chakra) and into your belly (the solar plexus chakra).  The color of these chakras are red, orange, and yellow, respectively.  The red root chakra concerns sexuality (making this exercise excellent before a big date) as well as security, which is necessary for courage and moving outward.  The orange sacral chakra is about enthusiasm, creativity, and joy.  The yellow solar plexus chakra (so called because it is the center of the body, like the sun) governs personal power, expansiveness, courage, and growth.  Visualize these chakras igniting, and the flame moving up the spinal column.

Imagine the fire burning away all negative emotion, all pain, and changing anything that torments you into heat and light.  Imagine this heat and light filling every single cell of your body.

Stay in this warmth and light and flame until you feel cleansed and energized.

Fire is useful for healing if channeled as a gentle heat. This is especially nice for sore muscles or frost bite, or just when you’re feeling chilly.  A good visualization for this is to imagine red, orange, and yellow liquid energy, or light energy, flowing into the effective area.

If fire gets out of control, it manifests as anger and manic behavior.  There is intense activity, followed by a crashing burn-out.  Physically, this shows up as infections.  It is helpful, then, to imagine cooling energy of a green or blue color–either as light or as liquid–and picture it “washing out” and cooling the affected area. If the excess fire is emotional, imagine the entire body filling with this blue/green liquid light.

Earth

Earth lends practicality and patience. It brings abundance and fertility. It moves slower than fire or air energy, with a great payoff.  Soil is not the only component of Earth–flowers and trees are also part of the Earth, and so are useful to meditate on.

Earth is a feminine element, and is very nurturing and calm.  However, this is deceiving. There is a lot of activity in the Earth and its flora.  Think of sap rising, or flowers stretching toward the sun. It takes time, but it is steady, constant change, not the flaring of fire or quicksilver air.  It is associated with the Mother goddess, who gave unconditionally.

The Gnome is the Earth elemental.  Gnomes look like tiny humans, and live in the earth.  Fittingly, they are very practical, and are known for their agrarian and craftsman skills.   They have individual personalities, and are usually depicted as helpful.

Other creatures associated with the Earth are the beautiful dryads, or tree nymphs, and brownies, mischievous elves who live in the trees and in the earth.

Earth energy is helpful is you feel adrift and insecure. It is an energy that gives a feeling of safety, so it is also good for anxiety or any other type of nervous energy. It helps you stand tall.

Earth is also very good for transforming painful memories or thoughts into something healing and valuable.

If you’re feeling anxious, sit or lie down, and just breathe for a few moments. Simply notice your breath, and how it feels going in and out.

Imagine energy in the form of roots growing down out of your body, and up out of the earth. Imagine these two energies meeting. These roots may be dark green, gold, or pink. You are now connected to the Earth element.

Imagine this energy gently supporting you and enveloping you.  It can feel warm, or cool, whatever you need. It wraps you like a blanket or a mother’s arms. The energy is also flowing into your body, strengthening you, and giving you power and endurance, like sap in a mighty oak tree.  Imagine it fortifying your root chakra, located by your tailbone. Feel your spine lengthen and grow tall.

When you need endurance, visualize this energy traveling up your spine into the top of your head.  Imagine yourself growing, growing, growing toward your goal. When the energy reaches the top of your head, visualize yourself having reached your goal. Imagine how wonderful it feels.

Sit in this visualization until you feel warm and secure, or until you have a boost of confidence.

To cleanse and transform negativity, sit and breath as before.  Relax.  Imagine the negative emotion as something you can see–you may choose to make it a monster, or sludge clogging you.  If it is a negative experience, imagine the experience being played on a big movie theater screen. Imagine it shrinking down until it is tiny.

Get the Earth energy flowing through you again.  Then, imagine the Earth’s roots sucking away the negativity, the tiny screen, the monster, the sludge. Imagine it getting sucked down out of your feet, or out of your back, if you are lying down, and into the Earth.  Visualize the healing energy, in the color you chose, being taken into your body through your energy roots.

Now imagine the Earth turning this negativity into soil. This soil is nutrient rich. This soil can now produce positive, healing energy. It has been transmuted.

The shadow side of Earth energy, or a sign of having too much, is sluggishness, lethargy, and depression. Things are stagnant, and there is no motivation. The best way to counter this is to look to the fire and air elements, which are more kinetic.  I highly recommend doing the kindling visualization, described in the fire description, or this air visualization.

Lie down or sit with your feet flat on the floor.  Pay attention to your breath. Don’t force it, just notice it.

This is the element of air. This is what keeps you alive.

Visualize it filling every nook and cranny of your body, every cell.  Imagine it filling all the deflated parts of you.  Imagine it lifting your chest, your shoulders, and your heart. Imagine it surrounding your brain through your nostrils.  Visualize your brain waking up in every cell.

Now, we will go further.  Imagine flying on a stream of air. This air supports you and propels you, just like water. Feel it rushing into your face, into your lungs, refreshing you.  This air is taking you places.  Give yourself the wings of your dreams, if you’d like.  Look down.  What beautiful scene do you spy rushing underneath you? You have an eagle eye view of it.  There are opportunities as far as the eye can see.

Look around you. If you see clouds, or things look murky, imagine a gentle but strong breeze blowing them away.

Tell yourself, I have the energy and foresight to achieve what I want to achieve.  

 

Stay in this space until you feel clear, refreshed, and energetic.

 

This visualization will be reprinted in Part 2, when I discuss Air and Water.

highly recommend Caroline Myss’s Anatomy of the Spirit for further discussion of the chakras.  It is fantastic.  It is in-depth, and accessible without being condescending. It’s also a fascinating read. It not only discusses the chakras, but the Kabbalah Tree of Life and the Christian Sacraments.

Moon Signs

When people think of astrology and personality, they most often think of the Sun sign.  This is the sign people mean when they ask “What’s your sign?”  However, a person has a Sun sign, a Moon sign, a Rising sign, a Venus sign, a Mercury sign,  a Mars sign, a Jupiter sign,  a Saturn sign,  a Uranus sign, a Neptune sign, and a Pluto sign. My hope is we will talk about all of these.

The Sun sign is the sign of the outward personality.  Jung called it the “persona.” It is the personality traits that people see, and that we are most comfortable showing to the world. That is not to say that this personality is fake. It is a part of us; its energy is the energy that most of the time feels most natural to us. It is also the most “social” energy of ourselves.

However, we have other types of energy that we are born with, and other energies that we can develop.    This energy is closely related to the archetypes that Caroline Myss speaks of in her book Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. Caroline Myss takes Jung’s work with archetypes and expands upon it, but keeps many of the original archetypes Jung worked with.  One of these archetypes is that of the Shadow.

The Shadow can be seen as being an opposite of the persona.  It is the part of ourselves that we may not be very comfortable with, energy we are not sure what to do with, or energy we are not even consciously aware of possessing. Just as the persona is associated with the Sun and the energy of that sign, the Shadow can be associated with the Sun’s opposite–the Moon.

The Moon has long been associated, in astrology, with emotions and the subconscious. The Moon sign, or the sign the Moon was in when you were born,  thus tells how you handle your emotions. It tells about the personality that you may not show outwardly, and that you yourself may not be very familiar with, as the Moon, in traditional astrology, rules that particular realm.  The Moon is also the ruler of the five senses, and your instincts. The energy with which you react to your environment is ruled by your Moon sign, according to astrology.

I myself am a Moon in Aries, which is interesting, since here a physical, fiery sign is in the watery realm of emotions and the subconscious.  My sun is in a sign aligned with water–Luna (the sign formally known as Cancer and also known as Fegerri or Selene. We’re still working this out. At least here at Turtlephoenix).

First, let’s discuss the Shadow as I feel it, in my Moon placement. As a Moon in Aries, I am ashamed of my anger, which sometimes feels consuming.  I am also very competitive, but, because I am insecure and frightened of displeasing others (a common complaint of people in my Sun sign), it tends to show up in self-destructive tendencies when I am feeling off balance–I constantly compare myself to others and never quite measure up.

As a Moon in Aries, however, I feel I have a certain passion for pursuing matters relating to the subconscious, the emotions, and the instinctual.  When I am balanced, this competitive spirit helps me push myself. Also, when I am emotionally committed, I am in it for the long haul. This can be a double edged sword, as I don’t take rejection easily. Going into the more personal realm, I see my exes, both erotic and platonic, as competition in the imaginary contest for whoever is more lovable, desirable, successful, etc.  They usually have no idea they’re running against me. Sometimes, I’m not even aware I’m in the race until my emotional legs give out.

Raven Kaldera chose Macha, an Irish goddess who was faster than anything on earth, including the King’s horses. Her mortal husband bet she could outrun the King’s horses, and the heavily pregnant Macha won the race. When she reached the finish line, she gave birth to twins, and then cursed all the men of Ulster.  This is the Arien anger magnified by the intensity of the Moon.

Arien Moons are always quite open in the expression of their emotions, even if they try to hide them. As a weepy Luna, I have many a time bruised my Arien Moon pride by sobbing in front of people. That is the peril of this fire sign in the Moon, though. It’s too strong to stifle.

Currently, the Moon is in Libra, and tomorrow it will enter Scorpio.  Libra, being an air sign, is an uncomfortable place for the emotional moon, and the Shadow side is charm, flattery, and manipulation–as well as a tendency to play favorites–but it lends a romanticism, and an instinct for harmony and peacemaking that can’t be beat. Raven Kaldera chose Isis for this placement, a goddess whose love and devotion brought her husband back from the dead, but marked her son as a tool for vengeance.

The Moon in Scorpio is powerful, indeed. The emotions here tend to be taboo–the sign of Scorpio rules sex, death, and rebirth–and the subconscious mind can be full of disturbing images that can peek out as disquieting thoughts. On the other hand, a placement here leads to a richness in imagination, fertile dreams, and a deep compassion.  Raven Kaldera chose Hecate for Moon in Scorpio, the Greek goddess of death, crossroads, and the underworld, but also the goddess of midwives. As matriarchal medicine fell out of favor, the midwife became synonymous with witchcraft.  This misunderstanding is very familiar to anyone with a lot of Scorpio energy, who understands that decay brings fertilization.

You can find your Moon sign here, at the Lunarium. Knowing the time of your birth is important, as the moon can stay in a sign for only a day.

Your Moon sign is not alone. All the archetypal energies of the signs and the planets interact with one another, and manifest in similar, but not identical, ways with each person. The fact that watery Luna is my sun affects how my firey moon expresses itself.

I want to take a moment here before we close to remind us that these signs are energy that is accessible by anyone. For example, if you are having relationship difficulties, call on Libra energies to help you balance your emotions.  If you are preparing to do psychological work, either for yourself or for another, bring in Scorpio energy. Here is a quick visualization to help you.

Imagine that you are lying on your back in water of a comfortable temperature. You are completely safe in this water. Breathe smoothly and naturally. As you lie on your back, you are gazing up at the moon.  This moon is a new moon, just a thin slice of silver in the sky.

As you gaze at it, the moon begins to swell into a full moon. As if swells, it fills with the color associated with the energy you want to access–if you need the strength and power of Aries, it shines red and orange.  For Libra’s peace, harmony, and charm, soft pink and blue, and for Scorpio’s courage and insight, scarlet and black.

This light flows down on you, and pours into every cell. It lights up the chakras, the energy centers that form a path from the coccyx to the top of the head.  Absorb this light. You may want to chant a mantra, repeating the quality you most want to draw into yourself–such as “peace,” “courage,” or “strength.”

Soak in this power as long as you need. When the moon is full, bask in it, and feel the water supporting you. Then, let the moon wane until it is again a simple crescent in the sky. Afterwards, say thank you, and go about your day.

Archetypes associated with the Moon:

Virgin/Mother/Crone

The Heart

The Inner Child

The Moody One

Kindness

The Inner Parent

A lion with the sun for a mane

Leo energy is associated with the lion, which is very apropos.  Leos are loyal, royal, and confident.  This energy is proud and bright, just like the sun that rules the sign.  Leo energy can be happy, whimsical,  and childlike (the sign traditionally rules children), like a marmalade- colored kitten, or noble and majestic, like the lion.

Leo is the sign of the Performer, of those who shine out from the crowd with personalities larger than life.  This energy instills a self-esteem that makes the bearer feel like a typical house cat, preening and luxurious.  After all, the sun is the center of the solar system, and that is where Leo feels most comfortable.  The sun is the spring board of creation, of life on this planet.  Leos are the lives of the party, the stars of the show, flamboyant and exuberant.  If out of balance, they are demanding and pouty, and throw colossal temper tantrums, just like Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war.  Ishtar was so angry that the hero Gilgamesh turned down her sexual favors that she had a wild bull sent to kill him.  When Gilgamesh’s companion, Enkidu, slays the bull and tosses the bloody hide into Ishtar’s temple, she kills Enkidu (MythAstrology 152-153).  The pride of this placement, and of those who have this energy, is not to be trifled with.

As the Performer, Leo brings joy to people by changing himself to fit his audience. His creativity is expressed by making people laugh, and by creating characters and scenarios. He is born for the stage, for the arts, for the microphone.  If Leo energy does not call its owner to act, it will push him to express his exuberance in some other way that enables him to interact with people. This can be as simple as being known for his friendliness and openness.

Balanced Leo energy loves an audience, but unbalanced Leo energy cannot live without one.  The unbalanced Leo energy causes its bearer to keep a mask on continuously, a mask that attempts to portray its wearer as perfect.  Underneath the cultured regality, and/or the perpetually sunny exterior, there may lurk a deep insecurity (MythAstrology 22).  The person may actually adopt Leo energy as a defense against these feelings of inferiority. This insecurity, instead of being handled in a healthy way, is a catalyst for an intense need to be the center of attention and narcissism.

When out of balance, the warmth of the Leo energy can be too encompassing. It can engulf and burn.  It can turn into rage–not the berserker rage of an Aries, but the sly, “catty” anger that can sneak up on its victim and slice him to ribbons.  It becomes a sense of entitlement, born from that hidden sense of insecurity.

On the other hand, when out of balance, the Leo energy can become cold.  Laughter fades, and creativity becomes fallow. Curiosity vanishes. The flip side of the Sun is, as we all know, the Shadow. Leo sadness is as cold and dark as Leo happiness is warm and bright.

Leo energy, when it comes to love, is pure and childlike. Since Leo is aligned with fire, the energy is passionate and active. Arien energy, also aligned with fire, is physical, competitive, courageous, and adventurous.  Sagittarius, also a fire energy, is philosophical, itinerant, blunt, and independent. Leo is glamourous, cultured, urbane, and charming.

A person with balanced Leo energy is friendly and inclusive, like the sun itself.  Its energy puts a spring or a slink in a step.  It seems to radiate from the person. Leos are full of curiosity and amusement.  The Leo, in allowing herself to be vulnerable, finds that her insecurity goes down.  In being open about her love for others, she will find that this wonderful Leo energy will grow and shine effortlessly, and she will find herself in her natural habitat–the spotlight.

Archetypes, People, and Animals associated with Leo:

Cats (especially Lions)

Actors, Comedians, Dramatists, and other Performers

The Diva

Sun gods and goddesses, especially Apollo, god of the Sun and Performance

Cybele–an Anatolian Mother Goddess who became the Greek “Mistress of Animals”, a Goddess whose worship included wild music, dancing, and performance

Ishtar

Colette–the 1920s French author and actress. Though she is an Aquarius (and has that archetype and energy) she is also very strongly a Leo.

How to bring in Leo energy:

1) Visualize yourself surrounded by the light of the sun. Imagine this sunlight pooling into your body, pouring into the top of your head (your crown chakra) and traveling down your spine into your heart. Feel your heart pump that warm brightness through your body. Let it relax your muscles. Feel your face muscles relax as you smile. Stretch like a cat.

2) Take a step toward being in the spotlight–tell a joke to a group of trusted friends.  Tell a story about an adventure you had.  If you ever had a craving to act, write, or make art, take a class.

3) If you are used to being in the spotlight, the next time you are with a group, encourage someone else to speak, and really listen.

4) Think about your favorite things to do as a child–fly a kite, run through the sprinkler, water color, put on shows.  Do one of those things soon. Note how you feel afterward.  Leo is the energy of children, and it will bring sunny joy into your life if you return to your roots.

5) Put on sunscreen and walk outside on a sunny day.

6) Meditate on your favorite animal.  What qualities of the animal would you like to assimilate into your own personality?  Carry a small charm or picture of the animal as your totem.  Leo is a strong animal energy–very pure and noble, like the energy of children. Think of the lion’s strength, the cat’s contentment, the grace of the deer.  How can you adopt these qualities?

By the way, MythAstrology is pretty much amazing and you should buy it.

Luna

I think it’s time to change Cancer’s name.  Please don’t take this to mean I’m arrogant enough to suppose a name thousands of years old can be changed because I want it to. It’s more that I personally feel uncomfortable referring to myself and my brethren as a disease. Let’s face it, we don’t think of the constellation; we think of the illness.  I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel kind of shitty.

Just for fun, what could Moon Children call themselves? Here are some ideas:

1) Selene. Selene is the goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. This name is easy to remember, and sounds as lovely as the goddess herself.

2) Fegarri. Fegarri is the Greek word for moon. I think it sounds harmonious with Sagittarius and Virgo. The bad part is that it sounds like an alien race from Star Trek. 


3) Huitaco (pronounced we-tah-co) (thanks to my awesome soul sister and colleague, Whitney. Check out her blog, wheresmytower.wordpress.com). Huitaco is the Columbian goddess of the Moon and protector of women. She was also the goddess of pleasure and happiness. The frequently tangled with her consort, Bochica, the god of hard work and sorrow. Bochica reminds me of Saturn, the planet that rules Capricorn, the sign of hard work and hard lessons. Moon Children oppose Capricorn (not OPPOSE oppose, but are opposite each other on the zodiac wheel).  There’s some nice synchronicity there, but the name sounds like “Wheat Taco” which is what we will forever be known as to people who don’t know about the myth.

4) Luna. Italian for Moon, and the Roman parallel to Selene.  Yes, it’s a Harry Potter character (and a character with very Piscean energy, at that, but Leo is a DiCaprio).

I think, for this article, I will refer to this energy as Luna/Lunar. It is the name of our Moon.

I myself am a Luna, and far from perfectly balanced.  I tend to focus on what is difficult about this energy. Luna is a water sign, and Lunar energy is highly emotional. I mean, EXTREMELY so.  It is difficult to separate this energy from these emotions and look at things rationally and impersonally. Also, this is an intense energy. Irritation quickly becomes raging frustration.  The blues and everyday disappointments can lead to sogginess from copious weeping.  On the other hand, contentment becomes joy, happiness is euphoria, and love turns into rapture. We are also literally quite watery; we tend to weep a lot.

The stomach and the breasts are the organs ruled by Luna.  It’s fitting that the breasts would be the organ for Luna–these are the mothers of the zodiac, after all, and the stomach keeps us alive through nourishment, another forte of Lunar energy. The stomach is also full of associations of being loved and mothered with food.

Lunar energy also helps you think with your gut, and aligns you with the third chakra, the bright, sunshine yellow spot of energy located behind your navel.  This spot in your body corresponds to your personal power.  While Capricorn’s lesson is that of mastering perfectionism, and to release the need for external validation, and Scorpio’s lesson is to learn to accept the dark parts of the Self, identify the dark parts that are useful, transmute the useful and let go of what’s not, and eventually rise above the dark parts as a new Self-creation, the energy of Luna is to discover power.  Notoriously timid, this energy’s lesson is to develop a belief in one’s Self, and in the Self’s worthiness.

 Luna rules the stomach, just as Capricorn rules the knees (the work horses of the body) and Scorpio rules the genitals (the seat of birth and death–“Le Petit Mort”).  This is the location of the third chakra. The third chakra is the seat of self-esteem, responsibility, and courage.  Out of balance, this is the seat of low self-esteem and fear, especially fear of rejection and failure (Myss 167-168).

The dark side of Lunar energy is a mess of insecurity. Luna energy that is out of balance give themselves impossible standards, standards so high the person becomes frozen out of fear of failure. It is the same kind of fear that keeps people lonely, because they aren’t willing to approach others.  Lunas are extremely hard on themselves, and tend to say “I’m sorry” a lot.

Lunar love is intense and maternal. It is so intense, in fact, that it hurts. The goddess Raven Kaldera associates with the sun in Luna is Demeter.  Demeter, the goddess of the grain, deeply loves her daughter, Persephone, and when Persephone is taken away by Hades, it sends her into a tailspin, a tailspin that takes the whole world down with it. Crops stop growing, and the earth becomes a cold wasteland. When a Luna feels hurt or abandoned, the psyche becomes a wasteland. A Luna attaches herself to a loved one, not in a creepy stalker way, but a Luna opens her heart to any one she loves, and  gives freely of it.  When the person they love goes away, there is a definite ripping sensation in the heart.

Perhaps this is because Luna is self-protective. When they do trust and love someone, they have to remove layers of their hard, protective shields, the “shell” of the crab. When that trust feels violated, Luna rebuilds the shell again, and reinforces it.

This metaphorical shell is also like a turtle’s shell.  If a Luna is in balance, he can feel at home anywhere  he goes. He will be grounded and secure, and he will help others feel secure as well.

Lunas are all about the love. A Luna will give her all to her loved ones, and will feel guilty if she feels she comes up short.  They are warm, comforting, and sensitive, when in balance. However, when out of balance, Luna becomes clingy and possessive. Unable to express “negative” emotions (and thus possibly anger a loved one) Luna becomes passive-aggressive and as brackish and bitter as a polluted ocean. Alternately, if the Luna is not secure enough to set boundaries, the roiling anger builds up until the dam breaks, and the Luna drowns the world in her rage.

Like the Moon, and the tides the Moon makes, Lunar emotions ebb and flow. This is very feminine; the word “month” comes from the same root as Moon, as do the words menses and menstruation.  I have found that my physical energy, creativity, and motivation also ebb and flow, and I wonder if perhaps other Lunas feel like this. I actually find it rather comforting–I know that when I feel low or dry, the tide will rise and I will be nourished again. Meanwhile, I have spare energies that I can tap.

The Moon is a symbol of illusion. Lunas must be careful to see past illusion. They must be especially careful not to fall into the all-or-nothing thinking common with the shadow aspect of this energy.  When they feel unloved, they must ask themselves if it is really true. They must exercise their minds to see the opposites of their negative thoughts. Can a Luna think of three people that like her? Then, the negative thought is not true. If you feel abandoned by a friend, is it true? Did this friend abandon you? Or are you abandoning yourself by letting this event change how you perceive yourself and your own innate goodness? Did this friend really abandon you? Did a friend abandon you, or just an acquaintance? Or, worse yet, someone who was using you?

Lunas are blessed with great intuition and imagination. Even an out-of-sorts Luna can intuit for her loved ones, even if she can’t intuit for herself. Even if the Luna is suffering from depression or garden variety writer’s block, they have a rich inner life. Sometimes, they must sit down and let the ink flow freely, like water, without any censorship. This helps them access that powerful Moon energy. Since the tummy is the provence of the Lunas, many would do nicely to just think with their “guts” and not overanalyze a decision.

It must be remembered that the energy of the signs is not just for the people born in the sign alone. You may feel you have more energy associated with one zodiac archetype than another, but you can access the archetypal energy of any sign.

Questions for Reflection, and Tips to Bring Lunar Energy in:

1) When making a decision, pay attention to how your body feels, instead of endlessly reasoning yourself through it.

2) Keep a dream journal. Lunar energy, like the other watery energies of Pisces and Scorpio, works with the subconscious.

3) When you nurture others, do you also nurture yourself?

4) What illusions do you maintain? How do they benefit you? How would your life be without these illusions? How can you let go of them?

Archetypes, People, and Animals for Luna

1) Mothers

2) Nurses

3) Family Historians/Museum Keepers

4) Demeter

5) Kwan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Compassion

6) Turtles and Crabs

7) Wolves and Dogs,, symbols of loyalty, family, and friendship

Book recommendations:

MythAstrology: Exploring Planets and Pantheons by Raven Kaldera (You still haven’t bought it yet? It’s awesome!)

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss (I cannot recommend her books highly enough. Expect more discussion of the chakras!)

Loving What Is, by Byron Katie (This is what inspired the suggestions for working with illusions. I’ve worked with Byron Katie not only through her books but on a stage in front of hundreds of people. It changed my life!)

Link

Geminis are a blessed crew.  Natalie Portman and Sean Yseult from White Zombie are both Geminis [note: this is probably the first time Natalie Portman and any member of White Zombie have been mentioned in the same sentence], and they both have things in common–they are both talented and charming. They both have traveled the world. They both have exuberant demeanors. They both seem to be great at absolutely everything they try.  My Gemini friend is the same way, reading books voraciously, studying everything from baboons to co-ops, and traveling around the world.

Aligned with the element of Air, and ruled by Mercury, Geminis are quick and adventurous.  Hermes, the Greek messenger god, could go anywhere on Earth, even the places other gods couldn’t go to or get out of.  Hermes could travel into Hades if he wanted to, but he preferred to travel in more luxurious places, like Elysium or Olympus. He also wasn’t a fan of the bottom of the ocean.

Let’s look at this from a symbolic perspective.  Gemini, being ruled by air, prefers the linear smoothness of the intellect, and the realms of Poseidon and Hades, being of Water and Earth, respectively, are metaphors for the leaky, soggy emotions and the deep, dark, messy subconscious.  Of course, being human beings, Geminis have just as much subconscious and emotions as everybody else, no matter how hard they may try to look cool, breezy, and effortless. In fact, it is vitally important that Geminis accept and integrate these parts of themselves, not only for their mental health, but to improve their communication skills and affect real change in people’s lives.

Gemini is the sign of the twins. Ideally, each twin would be a mix of dark and light, neither one banished to the darkness, or Hades, while the other one is allowed to shine on Olympus. Such was the case with Castor and Pollux, the twins of constellation fame.  Castor was mortal, and Pollux was a god. This is a very fitting metaphor for a Gemini. Often, a Gemini wants to maintain an image of near-perfection. Actually, just an image may not be good enough. The Gemini will want perfection, period. One of the things I observe in Natalie Portman is that there are absolutely no cracks. She is perfect. I cannot imagine her having any flaws, or any pain, and, being a very flawed human being,  I cannot relate to her.  Now, just because I can’t relate to her doesn’t mean nobody can (I doubt any Geminis are losing any sleep over me not relating to them, that’s for sure), but a risk of perfection is loneliness and perhaps alienation.  More than that, repression of the watery side, those negative emotions, or the darkness or crudeness of the earthy side, leads to emotional upheaval. Eventually, madness ensues.

Let’s look at the story of Helen of Troy and her twin sister, Clytemnestra.  Helen of Troy was the beauty whose face launched a thousand ships. Clytemnestra, her twin sister, was married off at age 12, a mother at 13, watched Agememnon kill her baby before he raped her, then forced her to marry him. Agememnon then had their daughter, Iphegenia, sacrificed, so Clytemnestra had Agememnon killed, only to be married by her daughter Electra and her son Laertes. Basically, if there was a suckiest life contest, Clytemnestra would probably win.

Next to a Gemini Helen of Troy, with her charm, free spirit, and never ending luck, it is easy to feel like a Clytemnestra–plain, unglamorous, and long-suffering.  However,  a Gemini is not only Helen of Troy, but Clytemnestra. Geminis are just really, really good at splitting off their Clytemnestras, and drowning her, or burying her deep.  But Clytemnestra has a nasty habit of bursting out of whatever cage she is put in and beginning a reign of slaughter against her oppressors. Eventually, the dark messy watery emotions just can’t take any more of the abuse.  Geminis, and all of us, if we are to have healthy Gemini energy, must take good care of our Clytemnestras. We must treat her kindly. We must talk soothingly to ourselves when we are depressed, or anxious, or furiously angry.  Also, we must remember what happened to Castor and Pollux, the twin brothers of Helen and Clytemnestra. Castor, the humble half of the Dioscuri, was killed, however,  his nobility and love elevated him to near immortal status. At the end of his legend, he and his immortal half-brother, Pollux, spend half their time in glorious Olympus, and half their time in humble Hades.  The humble human can be exalted.

Gemini energy, when fully integrated and balanced, creates a fun and friendly temperament.  Also, the Geminis have extremely active minds, with many interests, and a surplus of talent.  They are also willing to go through uncomfortable adventures. One of the best examples of a balanced Gemini is Sean Yseult.

Sean Yseult was the bass player for White Zombie, but that’s not all. Growing up, she was also a dancer and a straight-A student, and has been a visual artist and pianist since she was a little girl. She is now not only a musician, but a fashion designer. Reading her memoir I’m in the Band is a treat because not only is her writing well crafted and honest, it is also classy and restrained (Geminis are hardly ever crude. They are very eloquent). She is not above talking about the uncomfortable parts of her life, the mortal, messy incidences.  Sean Yseult also does not seem to be crafting any false persona; what you see is what you get with her. I may sound like a gushing fan girl, but, drawing the parallel to the Dioscuri, Sean Yseult has been mistaken for being just a Castor (just hanging out in Rob’s shadow–don’t worry, I talk about him in the Capricorn entry, “The Seagoat”, all the bad connotations that go with women in music in general and metal in particular), when she was a nicely balanced Castor and Pollux, Earth and Olympus.

Archetypes and People associated with Gemini

Good Twin/Bad Twin

The Dioscuri–Castor and Pollux, Clytemnestra and Helen

Hermes/Mercury

Journalists

Travel writers

Eros/Cupid with his little wings, and his relationship with Psyche–he kept her in the dark because, on a psycho-symbolic level, he was afraid of his persona disintegrating

Linguists

Bringing in Gemini Energy: Questions for Reflection

1) How do you treat your Clytemnestra? Do you resolve your negative feelings in a healthy way, or do you repress them out of fear? If so, why are you afraid of these feelings? How else can you handle them?

2) Do you tend to divide people into Castors and Polluxes? Do you treat the janitor the same way you treat the CEO? The plain woman the same as the supermodel? This may be completely unconscious on your part, and not be done out of maliciousness, but as a shield for your own reputation. Pay close attention. Also, are there any parts of yourself that you have deemed unworthy? If not sure, pay attention to your guilty pleasures, and the secret dreams that you don’t want others to know about. Why not? Admit these things. Celebrate them.

3) Gemini rules communication and travel.  Exercise your words to bring a quick burst of energy–write in a journal, play with poetry, write someone a letter (As a Venus in Gemini, I can tell you that words have a lot of power–sexy, sexy power).

Raven Kaldera helped me fill in the gaps of the Dioscuri story–buy his book, MythAstrology: Exploring Planets and Pantheonshere. It is amazing and will melt your face clean off. Your face will heal.